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Stoner Tops Time Sheets as Honda MotoGP Testing Resumes

Thu, 01 Mar 2012

Missing a day of testing didn’t appear to have a negative effect on Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. After missing the second day of testing because of a potential engine problem, the Repsol Honda riders were back on the track for Day 3 where they regained the top two spots on the time sheets.

Honda held back Stoner and Pedrosa as well as satellite team riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl yesterday to investigate an engine warning light that lit up on the dash of Pedrosa’s RC213V on Day 1. Stoner once again topped all riders, setting the fastest lap with a time of 2:00.473. Though he has been consistently the fastest rider when he actually gets a chance to ride, he is concerned with another lost day of testing.

Again we’ve been unable to profit from the full three days of the test here in Sepang. The first day we only managed about 16 laps before the rain came and then yesterday we weren’t able to get out at all. So today it’s been good to have some nice weather, get out on track and find some different solutions on the bike. We’ve been trying a few different things with electronics to have the engine character the same way we like it. We’ve also tried shortening the wheelbase, aiming to reduce the chattering and we’ve been successful in decreasing it slightly, but at the moment we’re unable to eliminate it completely, so we still have quite a lot of work to do. The chassis balance feels good as does the traction on the bike; it’s turning well, but we really need to get rid of the chatter. In general we are happy with the bike. – Stoner

Pedrosa was second fastest on the day with a laptime of 2:00.648. He too had front end chatter but he and his crew were able to reduce some of the problem.

In general we’ve been working a lot on the chassis at this test, to find the best compromise. We tried different ideas and set ups and we leave quite happy with the feelings. This is a very specific track, so it’s important to have clear ideas for the future. We also made some progress on the braking and the chassis feels a little better because we have less chatter compared to the first test. We need to keep improving on entry and middle of the corner, but I think that we can expect improvements when we start to work more in depth with the engine and the electronics, which we will do in the Jerez test. Today I also used a different screen to be more comfortable on the straight, which felt better. – Pedrosa

San Carlo Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista damaged one of RC213V machines after crashing on cold tires but was able to continue on a second motorcycle. His time of 2:01.275 was good enough for 7th on the day. 2010 Moto2 Champion Stefan Bradl had the 9th fastest best lap with a time of 2:01.492, just over a second behind Stoner’s best lap.

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[Source: Honda]

By Dennis Chung

See also: Lorenzo, Spies Call Test a Success Despite Crashes, Rossi and Hayden Find Improvement but Disappointed with Results, 2012 Honda CRF250L Announced for Europe But Not For America … Yet.